Riding Your Bicycle To Logan Airport

We are still sorting through some good stuff from the old website, this gem turned up today. I have updated what I could, but it is not perfect, if you have information that can be added please leave it in the comments. Original Content by Doug Mink, John Allen and Dan Moraseski.

logan-airport-address

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Getting to and from the Airport

Bicycle Directions to Logan Airport

Bicycle Directions from Logan Airport

Useful Information

Map of route to/from Boston

Map of Route into and out of airport

Bringing a bike in or out of Logan International Airport is relatively easy: there are many options. This pamphlet covers the details; also call 800 23-LOGAN for latest updates on bicycle access to the airport.

You may bring your bike by subway, ferryboat, bus or car — or ride it to the airport. Riding between Cambridge, Somerville, and North Shore points and the airport can be faster than driving, especially when highways are jammed with traffic.

You can ride into and out of the airport on service roads and paths. Even if you have prepackaged you bike, then you can take it in and out of the airport on the airport’s free shuttle buses between the margins of the airport and your airline terminal. Allow 30 minutes for your bus trip, including waiting time, except as noted below.

Getting to and from the Airport

To ride there:

See map below

By ferry:

Ferries connect directly from the airport to downtown Boston, to Quincy, and Hull. However, you should check the ferry schedule — it does not run at all hours.

A bus to the airport ferry dock, marked "Water Transportation," circulates through the airport terminals. This is the least crowded airport bus, and you do not have to take a ferry to use it. You may have to ride to the ferry dock unless your bike is packaged, and riding may be faster in any case. You can bike to and from the ferry dock on a very pleasant path which you can pick up by taking Sumner St. from Maverick Square to Jefferies St., then following the harbor. Call 800 23-LOGAN for details.

The Water Taxi ferry runs between the airport and the World Trade Center, convenient to downtown Boston, and this is also where ferries depart to Provincetown on Cape Cod.. See the Bay State Cruise Company Web site.

Using the airport shuttle buses

If you are going to the ferry dock, you may ride your bike (see map below) or take the special Water Transportation bus. Otherwise, take the #22, #33 or #44 bus to the subway station. If going to the Maverick Gate, then continue on the #44 bus and ask the driver to stop at the Edson building, opposite the Harborside Drive bus shelter. It is a short walk from there to the Maverick Gate. (**This might be wrong, be sure to check the Massport website for more details**)

Regional bus service

Massport Logan Express buses connect Logan Airport with Framingham, Braintree and Woburn. These buses accommodate packaged or unpackaged bicycles in their baggage compartments. Call Massport information at 800 23-LOGAN for details. Several regional bus lines also serve the airport. Some of them accept unpackaged bicycles on a space-available basis, and all accept packaged bicycles. Call the bus line you will take to find out about its policy.

Via the Blue Line subway

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Blue Line subway stops at the Airport subway station and connects with other MBTA subway and commuter rail lines. Packaged bikes are permitted on the subway like any other baggage. Unpackaged bikes are permitted on the subway on weekends and at specified off-peak weekday times. For details, see the MassBike Bikes on the T page or call MBTA information at 617 722-3200.

From the station, airport shuttle bus #22 or #33 will carry you and your bike to your airline terminal, or you may ride (see map below). If you are traveling at peak commute times, the airport shuttle buses that serve the subway may be crowded, so it is better to ride, or to enter via one of the less crowded entry points described earlier.

The Maverick Gate: You can’t park your bike and fly.

After long negotiations several years ago, MassPort promised bicyclists that they would be able to lock their bikes at the Maverick Gate (employees’ entrance) to leave it at the airport and fly out: the bike rack has 24-hour surveillance from the gate attendant, so your bike would NOT have been stolen or vandalized! Massport no longer allows bikes to be parked there, citing "security reasons". You will have to find a different place
to park, somewhere outside the airport. Bring a good lock!

Transporting Your Bike By Car and Taxi

Some taxis take bikes — call for a station wagon cab, especially if you have prepackaged your bike. If you are driving and parking at a satellite parking lot outside the airport, you can usually take your bike to the terminal in the parking lot’s shuttle van — check with the parking lot operator. Or drive through the airport first and leave off your bike. If you are traveling alone, you could ask a red cap (they work for tips) to watch your bike until you return from parking your car. If you are traveling with a companion, one of you can drive the car to the parking lot while the other takes the bikes and baggage into the airline terminal.

If you are parking your car in the airport’s central parking garage, it’s a fairly short walk to the terminals — Logan is far more compact than many airports.

Other Useful Information

Most buses stop at the airline terminals on the lower level (arrivals). Most airlines have their baggage offices (with bike packing materials) on this level. Pack your bike and check it here before you go upstairs to the gate. If you are arriving at the airport in a large group, call Massport’s Public Affairs Department at 617 561-1818, at least 24 hours in advance, to reserve a special bus for your group and its bicycles.

Packaging your Bike

Most foreign airlines will check a bike for free and transport it unpackaged if you have only one other piece of luggage. Most domestic airlines require you to package your bike, and charge for excess baggage. Fees and policies may affect your choice of an airline, so call to ask about them and to be sure that boxes are available. If your airline is out of boxes, you can buy one from another airline.

Airline boxes are big enough to hold most bikes with both wheels in place. Just remove the pedals and turn the handlebars 90 degrees, or remove the handlebars with the stem and hook them over the top tube. If you haven’t disassembled these parts before, practice ahead of time with someone who can show you how.

If your bike is too big for the airline box, lower or remove the saddle, or remove the wheels if necessary. If you have to remove the wheels, install spare axles or blocks of wood between the forkends to protect the forks from being bent.

In addition to standard bike tools, you will need a felt-tip marker, scissors (or a sharp knife) and a roll of fiber- reinforced strapping tape or duct tape. Airline baggage tape will not withstand the rough handling most bike boxes receive in transit.

Pack your tools with the bike or other checked baggage, or you will have problems at the security gate. Pack your sleeping bag, panniers, helmet, etc. around your bike to keep it from shifting in the box and to avoid additional excess-baggage charges. Be sure that your box is marked "Bicycle — Fragile" in large letters on all sides, and that your identification is on the box as well as each separate item inside the box, just in case it breaks open.

Commercial bike carrying bags and boxes (available at many bike shops) require more bike dismantling, but can often be checked as regular baggage, avoiding the hassle of going to the oversize baggage window as well as excess-baggage charges. A folding bicycle in its carrying bag is especially convenient for frequent fliers, because it can usually be checked as regular baggage.

At your Destination

Depending on where your flight lands, you may be able to cycle or take public transportation from the airport to your final destination. Be sure you know the route to your destination; that bicyclists are permitted on the roads you plan to travel; and that you are sufficiently hydrated: air travel dries you out.

Bicycle Directions from Logan Airport to Boston

  1. Follow the elevated walkways to the Central Parking Garage and take the elevator or stars down to ground level at the Hilton Hotel.
  2. Follow the smaller map until you reach Porter Street. Then follow the larger map and the instructions below.
  3. Go across the square and turn right onto Border Street. Follow Border Street to the sharp right turn at its end, then at the first traffic light past the turn, go left onto the McArdle Bridge.
  4. Take the first left past the bridge, onto Williams Street.
  5. Follow Williams Street through the produce market and tank farm. Along the way, it becomes Beacham Street.
  6. Turn left onto Robin Street just past the Exxon tank farm.
  7. At the end of Robin, turn right onto Dexter. At the end of Dexter, turn left onto Broadway (Route 99).
  8. Take the third right at the Sullivan Square rotary. (The second right, onto Washington Street, leads to Somerville and Cambridge.)
  9. Continue straight ahead on Rutherford Street. You can take the off-ramp and on-ramp near Bunker Hill Community College to avoid riding through the underpass.
  10. Turn right at the Charlestown Bridge (Washington Street). This has a steel grating deck, so you would do well to use the sidewalk in wet weather. Welcome to downtown Boston.

Bicycle Directions from Boston to Logan Airport

  1. Cross the Charlestown Bridge (Washington Street). This has a steel grating deck, so you would do well to use the sidewalk in wet weather. Use Boston’s Bikemap to find your way to Washington St. in the North Station area.
  2. Bear left onto Rutherford Street. You can take the off-ramp and on-ramp near Bunker Hill Community College to avoid riding through the underpass.
  3. Bear right into the Sullivan Square rotary. (The second right, onto Washington Street, leads to Somerville and Cambridge.
  4. Take the second right off the rotary onto Broadway (Route 99) and cross the Mystic River.
  5. Turn right on Dexter, the first turn after the power plant.
  6. Turn left on Robin St. at the end of Dexter.
  7. Turn Right onto Beacham St. at the end of Robin St.
  8. Straight on Williams St. in Chelsea. Follow Williams Street through the tank farm and produce market.
  9. Straight on Marginal St.
  10. Right at light over McArdle Bridge.
  11. Right onto Border St. (First right after bridge)
  12. Continue on Border street past Central Square, and turn left on Decatur Street. Continue straight ahead and bear right on Porter Street to the Airport subway station.
  13. Follow the smaller map to the Central Parking Garage, opposite the Hilton Hotel.
  14. Take the elevator or stairs up to the elevated walkways, and the walkways to the terminal.

(**Both of these routes might be out of date**)

Click the title of either map for larger maps, and more directions.

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14 Responses to Riding Your Bicycle To Logan Airport

  1. zakcq January 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    And don’t forget that there are bike racks on the lower (arrivals) level of Term A. Though you should probably check with the Airport police if you are planning to leave your bike there while you’re on vacation.

  2. Laura Smeaton January 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    Wayfinding signs for biking route would be a nice – like the ones provided for cars driving to Logan from hwys (plane picture with arrows).

  3. John Allen January 9, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Please credit the authors — Doug Mink, me and Dan Moraseski; revisions and Google maps most likely by Shane Jordan.

    Other suggestions for revised text:

    Airlines now charge to $300 each way to transport bicycles. This reflects their charging for whatever they can, in the face of financial difficulties, and also that many bicycles today are very expensive, so damage claims are large. If an airline representative quotes a price to you over the phone, get the quote in writing. If by e-mail, print it out and bring a copy with you to avoid an unpleasant surprise when it is too late to change plans.

    If you are going to travel with a bicycle, you do well to take one that packs into a suitcase (Bike Friday, Ritchey Breakaway, some DaHon models, etc.). The airlines don’t need to know what is inside — the TSA knows, but doesn’t tell the airline. Bikes in suitcases travel as regular baggage at no extra charge.

    Airline baggage handling can be very rough. A bike that packs into a hard-shell suitcase will almost always arrive intact. The same can’t be said of a bike packed into a cardboard box.

    There are two companies now running ferries to Provincetown: Boston Harbor Cruises (Rowe’s Wharf) and Bay State Cruises (World Trade Center, South Boston).

    And some suggestions for needed research:

    Airport bus lines have changed — also needs updating. Taking a boxed bike on the airport shuttle bus is never a problem, but I’m not sure whether Massport is still holding to its agreement with Massbike (a decade or more ago) to take unboxed bikes on the buses. In any case, it’s probably faster and easier to ride from the Blue Line subway terminal into the airport than to take the shuttle bus.

    Aside from increasing security restrictions, there was a major reconfiguration of airport roadways accompanying the Big Dig. It would be useful to ask where a bicycle might be parked now. Really, it should be possible somewhere near the hotel. It’s worth contacting Massport to discuss this. The airport has a parking garage that holds hundreds of cars. Surely, a bike rack can’t be a greater security risk!

    And a maps improvement:

    Border Street is much pleasanter than Meridian Street when headed to the airport. Stay on Porter Street in East Boston when headed into the airport, rather than going out of the way as shown. When headed out of the airport, turn right from Porter Street to gho under 1A, then left along the north side of 1A and Central Square. People riding from north of the airport may find it better to use the service road north of the main airport roadways (though this route needs checking — may not be open to bicycles the whole way).

    Local ferry info also may need updating. I don’t know whether the Water Taxi still runs, etc.

    Proofreading! “Even if you have prepackaged you bike…” etc.

    Thanks.

  4. John Allen January 9, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Oh, now I see the earlier comment about bike racks at terminal A. But how to get there? And maybe we can ask for additional bike racks. The hotel is very central; getting to msot other locations requires walking the bike, carrying it up or down staris etc. anyway.

  5. Shane January 11, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Thanks for the updates John, I was not aware of who had written the original content. Thanks also for your updates valuable information.

  6. John Allen January 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    You’re welcome, Shane.

    Additional info on getting to the airport:

    To get the to the airport from my home in Waltham, I had been taking the Fitchburg commuter rail line to North station and then taking a taxi from there to the airport, The three transfers — to Orange line, then Blue Line, then airport shuttle bus — made for a rather long (though inexpensive) trip entirely on public transportation. The taxi cost about $20 with the tip for the driver.

    Most recent time I went to the airport, though, I took commuter rail to Porter Square, the Red Line to South Station and the Silver line from there to the airport. Though the Silver Line uses buses, it operates more like a subway line. Transfers from the Red Line are free, just like those between the Red Line and other MBTA light rail lines. Unlike other MBTA buses, the Silver Lihe buses have luggage racks inside. There should be no problem taking a boxed bicycle on board. I’m not so sure about an unboxed bike. Two different Silver Lines stop at South Station, and you must take the one that stops farther back along the platform and goes to the airport. My total travel time from when I got on the train in Waltham, to the airport, was about 1 1/4 hours. If I take the train to to North Station and then take a taxi to the airport, it’s about 50 minutes.

  7. Bfash May 16, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    The bike route to/from Boston-Logan is a suicide ride! Are you kidding me, that’s the industrial area/truck route through Chelsea. I have done this ride, it’s crazy and very dangerous!! The City and MBTA should provide better access for the people of East Boston and the surrounding towns. We get taxed the same as other Boston residents but don’t have access to Boston proper. We should be able to use our bikes to commute to work. Riding through Chelsea and Charlestown to get to Boston is not a good solution. The mbta should provide an area on the first and last cars on the blue line reserved for bikesBefore 7am and after 7am still cuts bike commuters off from the city!!

  8. Howard Katz August 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Recall that folding bikes, when folded, are allowed on ALL MBTA vehicles at all times.

    So, for example, to get to Logan with a Brompton folding bike (which I ride):
    1. Fold the Brompton into “stroller” position.
    2. Take the Blue line to the Airport station.
    3. Unfold.
    4. Pedal right to the terminal.

    Notice how a folding bike simplifies this trip enormously.

  9. jd October 26, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Another option is to bike to South Station, leave the bike there at the bike rack and take the silver line to the airport. No nightmare rides through the industrial zones – however, the silver line is slow.

  10. Steven Bhardwaj May 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    From Logan Airport website 5/24/2011:

    “Good for the environment and part of a healthy lifestyle, biking is a great way to get to the airport -especially if you live nearby. For your convenience, a bike rack is available outside Terminal A, behind the taxi stand on the lower level as well as at the Airport T Station.
    Riding your bicycle in the tunnels that lead to and from the airport and on the airport roadway is forbidden for safety reasons; however, you may take your bike on the MBTA and the water transportation services to and from Boston Logan, as well as on the Logan Express bus service and Massport’s on-airport shuttle buses.
    For more information on how to incorporate bicycling into your commute, visit Mass Bike. If you are traveling with your bicycle, contact your airline for more information about checking your bike as policies vary and fees may apply.”

  11. ryder July 8, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    take your front wheel (or both) off, and the bike is no longer a “bike” by definition. Some MBTA official was being extremely rude with me once while trying to take my bike on the orange line around 9:30 am. I didn’t know at the time that you couldn’t take bikes on at that point. So after walking out of the station, thoroughly annoyed because I had a flat and was going to pick up a new tube, then ride to work in watertown, I had an idea….

    I took off both wheels and carried it right back through, and politely informed the MBTA employee that what I had in my hands was not a bicycle, but two wheels and a frame. He had no comment.

    Not something I would do again, but I was in a serious pinch at the moment. I avoid MBTA at all costs these days.

  12. Nathan November 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    I come from the future bearing gifts of webpage links!

    Logan website containing earlier quote about the bike rack in Terminal A:

    http://www.massport.com/massport/gtu/Pages/Results.aspx?from=96%20capen%20st%20medford,%20ma&to=f6d3f835-6161-4268-b2a9-9e23f29a126d&methods=/076e11a6-1e2b-42f3-99f9-22eb6252ca07

    Interactive map showing the precise location of the bike rack:

    http://www.massport.com/logan-airport/inside-airport/Pages/logan-interactive-maps.html#/terminal/A/zone/Arrivals/room/TABR1

    To people in the future: If you check these links and they still work, then there is a better chance of the airport still providing the service.

    I’m going to try this out this week, and hopefully I remember to come back and inform you all of my results.

    Safe travels!

  13. Nathan November 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Also: I called the airport and they said there is nowhere to leave my bike… Then I checked the website. I believe the website over an employee, who was probably just annoyed that I asked him such an obscure question.

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